Whether you’re a new or established restaurant, promotions are important for reaching new audiences and bringing fresh faces through the door. While digital word-of-mouth and paid advertising have their place, organic promotions involve bringing guests together under a warm and welcoming roof. Creating an environment they can call home and indulge in world of new experiences. In order to increase exposure and drive sales, take to these 10 easy promotional ideas for successfully marketing your restaurant today.

Use Mouth-Watering Images

Visual content has become the pinnacle of restaurant marketing next to… well, having good food. Before you fully commit to a restaurant, what do you do? Check Yelp, scroll through IG and probably jump on Facebook to see if they have any good content to share.

Investing in crisp, high-quality, food porn-esque photos will do wonders for your content marketing plan. Did you know when an image is paired with info, people are 65% more likely to remember it?

Money saving tip: ditch the professional and use your smartphone. You’ll be surprised what an editing app like Snapseed can do to a bland, rather boring, photo.

Bulk Up Your Yelp Profile to Get More Traffic

Because everyone has an opinion and their voices must be heard! Encouraging folks to leave positive ones, while you mitigate the negatives helps keep your stars high and thumbs down emojis low.

Online reviews are more than a way to appease to customers, they affect your rankings on Google. Yes, Yelp is held in high regards by Google Search Engines and every review counts towards your Local SEO. So bulk up that Yelp profile with photos, menu and description to drive more hungry traffic through the door.

Invite Food Bloggers & Influencers Over For A Meal

Being in the food industry you probably know of a few big foodies in the area. While this may seem awkward at first, remember that people love free food. Especially when it’s delicious and trending.

Round up a handful of well known, local influencers and invite them over for a pint and some food! While you can’t force a positive review, you can whip up a dish that’s so irresistible, they’ll want to spread the good word.

Here’s a list of the top food bloggers in Australia for you to choose from.

Paid Ads on Google

Want to improve your restaurant’s online presence at a fair price? Get to the top of page 1 of Google, even just for a little bit? Explore Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising options through Google Adwords.

While you may want to hire outside help for research, these ads target audiences through location, device and keywords they are searching for. Best part, you only pay when someone clicks the ad making your promotional budget more friendly.

Offer Loyalty Apps

Loyalty apps work, there’s no question about it. Using a loyalty app encourages guests to return as they continuously build up those highly desired reward points. You can offer merch, exclusive discounts and advanced promos to those who use the app! According to The Loyalty Effect, 5% customer retention rates can increase profits between 25-100% for your restaurant.

Become A Part of Your Local Community

Get involved, become a member of your local community. If your restaurant is heartless and cold on the inside, your guests will recognize it then write about it online. No one wants to spend money in a place with no values.

Whether you’re donating, actively volunteering or hosting charity events, getting involved with the community is a great way to organically promote your restaurant.

Promote Your Happy Hour

Who doesn’t like cheap drinks, good food and sweet deals? Promote engaging HH content throughout your social networks and get your fans to share. By using in-app social media insights, you can select different times throughout the day to post for maximum exposure.

If your IG posts receive more engagement at noon, post around then. For FB, check the “local” tab to see what times your area is scrolling the app the most. Remember those food porn-esque photos from before? Now’s the perfect time to combine the two!

Host Fun Promotional Events

Wine tastings, paint nights, live music. Turn your restaurant into a lively, community space rather than a just place to eat and go. By hosting a variety of cool and exciting events, you can extend your reach and increase exposure to new audiences. Bringing together people from all walks of life while creating a welcoming environment.

They’ll share pictures throughout social media, tag themselves at your restaurant and tell their friends all about it at the office the next day. When promoting a restaurant, especially to millennials, digital word of mouth is one of the best ways to bring more guests to your through the door.

Creating A Millennial Environment

Millennials, the word that marketers either fear or love depending on what they need to sell. Picky, lazy and want the best of everything, Millennials (including myself thank you) can be a difficult sell but have tons of social influence. When a woman with 20K followers on IG, an Elite membership on Yelp and a foodie group on FB says your place is boring, you know the word will spread.

Get ahead of pesky Millennials by building a unique, cool atmosphere around your restaurant. Support with fair prices, genuine service and clean toilettes and you’ve got yourself some Millennial gold!

User-Generated Content

Get those fans and followers involved with your restaurant. Run submission contests with fun hashtags, feature users photos and promote special shout outs throughout your networks. Award them with love, free apps and a chance to win $1,000,000 (just kidding, millennials don’t actually fall for that).

Final Words

Most importantly, show your customers that you appreciate them. That you’re authentic when you say something as simple as, thank you. Because promoting a restaurant is more than showcasing your food and getting likes, it’s about creating a community around what you love the most and making your guests feel the same.